Monday, February 15, 2010

As long as people believe tripe like this, methinks this blog is necessary…

In 1928 a man by the name of William E. Woodward wrote a God-awful book entitled Meet General Grant.

Towards the middle of the book, Woodward opines:

“The American negroes are the only people in the history of the world, so far as I know, that ever became free without any effort of their own…It [the Civil War] was not their business. They had not started the war nor ended it. They twanged banjos around the railroad stations, sang melodious spirituals, and believed that some Yankee would soon come along and give each forty acres of land and a mule” (Woodward, Meet General Grant, p. 237).

Apparently it never occurred to Mr. Woodward that “some Yankee” might just be a USCT...


  1. Woodward's quote reminds me a statement I uncovered in my research of Reconstruction in Florida. In Sept. 1865, William Marvin, the provisional governor of FL appointed by Johnson, went on a speaking tour. He told a large crowd of freedmen in Marianna, FL that the war that had just ended had been a "white man's war" in which blacks had played no role. His lesson to the audience was that African Americans had no reason to be grateful to the Union for their emancipation, but instead should remain loyal and obedient to Southern white men and regard them as friends.
    What makes Marvin's statement amazingly ironic was that precisely one year earlier (9/64) Marianna had been the site of a destructive battle after the town was invaded by a Union army column that including two USCT regiments (which included some former slaves from the area).
    I just discovered your blog - keep up this important work!

  2. DRW,

    Thank you so much for your kind words regarding the blog!

    As for William Marvin, well...he must've been an ideological influence on William A. Dunning.

    Best of luck in your studies of such an important and misunderstood period and I hope you return to comment often.